Entries by Don

Better Process, Better People

The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement. Officially author unknown, but I heard it from my mother, more than once. Reading Better People, Better Process may make it seem like I’m one of those touchy-feely “people over process” types. I confess I have a fondness for people but I’m also a […]

Command and Control Agile

Words convey meaning. They’re how we take the stuff deep in our brains and share it with others. They also self reinforce. David Levy says “not only do our attitudes and perceptions affect our use of language, but our use of language in turn influences our attitudes and perceptions.”1 I came across some new words […]

Beating Brooks’ Law

Joe Little does a marvelous job recruiting speakers for the Agile-Carolinas meetings. This month was no exception. Israel Gat from BMC Software discussed “Leading the Disruption”. This presentation focused on releases 2.3 and 2.4 of their distributed system management software. Near the presentation’s end Brooks’ Law was mentioned and the question posed, “Does Brooks’ Law […]

Better People, Better Process

The current mantra for software development hinges around “better, faster, cheaper.” To support these efforts, companies attempt to improve their development process. While helpful, improving the current process has two negative side effects: diminishing returns. The more improved a process becomes the less room for improvement exists. Eventually the process will be as good as […]

Skills for Software Smokejumpers

Do you know about smokejumpers? They’re brave, self-sufficient firefighters who parachute into remote areas wearing eighty pounds of gear and ready to fight a forest fire. If the jump goes well, they land safely. After extinguishing the fire, they may have a ten-mile hike out. It’s not a job for the faint of heart, slow of mind, or weak of back.

Have you considered that you may be a smokejumper?

Data and Doing Things

Johanna recently blogged about Making Milestones Visible. Jerry added that milestones not only need to be visible, they have to be actionable. The example they used was having a vehicle go 100,000 miles. Data To Johanna it was a milestone she missed because her odometer lacked the resolution to let her know she was getting […]

Changing Words to Change Reality

Words interest me. They don’t exist in the real world. They’re the names, and descriptions we give to the items and events we notice in our environment. A classic on how well this works is Blindmen. It’s a short read, I’ll wait here. Bad Matters Worse The bigger and more complex object we try to […]

Communication Disconnects

“Why doesn’t my manager listen when I explain the details?”
“Why doesn’t the developer just give me what I ask for?”

If you’ve ever heard these complaints—or made them–you’re not alone. Questions like these are a symptom of a communication disconnect.

Views: Yours, Mine, and Ours

What’s Wrong with this Picture? Have you ever read something that bothered you, but couldn’t put your finger on exactly why? I found myself in that position after I read George Dinwiddie’s recent blog entry about Blocking. Scott Ambler’s “blocking” doesn’t bother me. I don’t see that giving management the information they need, in the […]